Thursday, December 13, 2007


In the near future, the RFIDs are going to be omnipresent, and used across everywhere.
Playing cards could also have RFIDs associated with it.
With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, the idea of surface computing becoming ubiquitous seems a reality.

This is an Idea for a technology based Card Game for children in Rural India.
Thus the scenario is a case in say 2020, where the children in rural India have access to technology in the schools.

Children in Rural India are often told stories from the great epics Mahabharata and the Ramayana and other religious texts. The idea is to enhance the story telling experience using technology and a lot of visuals. The another lying idea is to improve the knowledge about Indian Mythology amongst the children. Of late the trend of telling stories have stopped and hence the children do not get to know the stories that we have grown up with.

People are around a central table that is comprised of a matchbox, a playground , and the stack, that has all the set of cards in the deck. The idea is to match the set of cards one after the other. Every Myth card has a Character card that it is matched onto. The match can be found by placing these two match cards in the area of the table marked as Match box.

There are two set of cards. One the Myth set of card, and one the Character set of card. The game is played with 2 or more people.

The Myth Cards, will be comprising of myths associated with the particular God. The myths are in the form of visual clues and not in forms of text. This is so that the children can go above the reading barrier, and make ConneXions based on the visual clues.

If the correct match is made, the Matchbox plays a story with the ConneXions between the Myth and the Character.

The players are initially given 7 cards. The player have to pick from the stack of cards and if they do not need the card, throw it back in the playground. Any player can pick up any card from the playground at his/her turn.

If the set of cards in the stack are finished, the cards from the playground are taken and shuffled again and kept on the stack.

A bonus point is given if there is a match with three cards. A myth and Two Character Cards.
For Eg: If the Character cards, are of the elephant God Ganesh, and the Lord Shiva, One myth can find a story between them all. Thus this is a bonus point.

Who wins? The person who is able to tell the maximum stories or in other words, make the maximum ConneXions.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Designing Games for Rural Population

One of my interest lately has been designing for the rural population.
By rural population I mean the rural population in third world countries like India, and Africa. I believe that there is a whole lot of challenges involved in this and many a times the tried and tested methods and design patterns do not work in these cases.
I came across this paper today that deals with designing games for the children in rural India.
The paper titled: "Mobile Gaming with Children in Rural India: Contextual Factors in the Use of Game Design Patterns."

This is really interesting as in the paper its discussed that the general design patterns, become not so useful, as the context varies from one culture to the other. Similarly the cognitive understanding of games are completely different for children across cultures.

Using of identified game design patterns for expert game designers, the novice designers and the developers who are not designers is important to know. Many a times the standard design patterns do not work and its nothing short of suicidal to blindly follow them.

One of the things that i seek to find out is the parameters on which the design for games, and entertainment for that matter , are dependent on. This could also mean a design pattern of the rural population. How children interpret symbols, graphics, based on myths, based on society's superstitions...

The whole thing is proposed to be a part of the framework that I call the Rural Interaction Design framework.

Gamish Web Page Design

How does one make a web page more gamish?
What are the elements that play a role in creating a lively experience? What are the graphics and the colors that are to be used to target a younger age group of people using the website? What is the amount of text that one needs to put?
These are some of the questions that I seeked to answer when I redesigned the webpage of Dr Ralph's Bonus Years Diet Book.

Here's my take on the website.
The few things i tried to make it was make it look more gamish.
I wanted to play with the lively and joyful colors. Ultimately the book or the game should be resulting in joy for the user.

Also another thing that i wanted to target is the removal of a lot of text, and adding lot of images. Its more likely that the age group that we are targeting is going to like images and click more on it rather than read up a lot of text. I have I have also tried to follow Web 2.0 style of Visual Design by adding images to icons and also reflections and gradations.

Also the highlight of the book can be the game and that the full version would be available on purchase of the book.

The website however allows for the trial version download of the game and also allows the users to play the trial version online.
These villains can be refreshed every-time, based on a random command that selects the image every-time the page is refreshed.

The images and the graphics have been kept simple and cartoonish to make it look more gamish and more appealing to the younger age group.